After New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that will allow sports wagering in the state, Monmouth Park announced it will be the first in the state to offer such betting when it launches at 10:30 a.m. June 14.
The governor plans to be at Monmouth Thursday to celebrate the addition by placing the first bet.
"We're delighted to welcome Gov. Murphy to Monmouth Park for this momentous occasion," said Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development, operators of the racetrack. "Throughout this process, Gov. Murphy has always had Monmouth Park's back, and as a Monmouth County resident we're delighted that sports betting in New Jersey gets started right in his backyard.
"We are thankful to all those who will make this Thursday a day long remembered, and even more so, looking forward to sports fans from all over converging on Monmouth Park to partake in sports betting, which was overwhelmingly approved by Garden State voters nearly seven years ago."
Under the legislation, a licensed casino or racetrack may accept wagers at a sports wagering lounge at its respective premises, and can petition to operate a sports pool at a temporary facility during the construction of a sports wagering lounge. In addition, licensed casinos and racetracks can seek to operate an online sports pool beginning 30 days after the effective date of the bill.
Individuals placing wagers must be at least 21 years of age. The bill also provides that athletes, coaches, referees, and other persons with potential influence or access to non-public information regarding sporting events, are prohibited from placing bets on sporting events overseen by the league in which they participate. Additionally, wagers cannot be placed on high school sporting events or collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey or involving New Jersey teams.
Income from sports wagering will be taxed at an 8.5% rate, although that rate goes to 13% for revenues from online sports wagering. The horse racing permit holder will be subject to an additional 1.25% tax to go to local governments. The estimated State tax revenues that could be generated from sports betting are projected at approximately $13 million in the first full year of operation.
The wagering will be regulated by the Division of Gaming Enforcement and New Jersey Racing Commission, which will issue emergency regulations for a period of up to 270 days to govern sports betting. These regulations are to allow for already-licensed casinos and racetracks to apply for a transactional waiver that will enable them to commence sports betting.
On June 13th the NJRC will hold a meeting to review regulations related to the establishment of sports betting at New Jersey racetracks. Following the racing commission adopting regulations, the governor will be able to ratify the racing commission's decision and licensed racetracks will then be able to apply for a temporary waiver to commence sports betting.
"We're finally making the dream of legalized sports betting a reality for New Jersey," Gov. Murphy said Monday. "I'm thrilled to sign Assembly Bill 4111 because it means that our casinos in Atlantic City and our racetracks throughout our state can attract new business and new fans, boosting their own long-term financial prospects. This is the right move for New Jersey and it will strengthen our economy."
Thursday's first wagers will take place at 10:30 a.m. when Gov. Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN's "Sportscenter" his favorite show, places the first wager. He's expected to be joined by former state senator Raymond Lesniak, who championed sports betting, as well as former Gov. Chris Christie, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
The Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill, located on the first floor of the Grandstand, will open to the public shortly after the first wagers and in time for World Cup Soccer, which kicks off Thursday with Saudi Arabia vs. Russia at 11 a.m. EDT.
In addition to future wagers on the Super Bowl and World Series, Thursday's sports betting menu will include a whole host of proposition (prop) bets as well as Thursday single game action, which includes Major League Baseball. The sports book will remain open through the conclusion of the New York Mets game Thursday.
This week's schedule for the Monmouth Park Sports Book will see an 8 a.m. opening on Friday and again on Saturday and Sunday (Father's Day) when the track also hosts live Thoroughbred racing, which gets underway at 12:50 p.m.
Sports betting became permissible when the United States Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act May 14. Last week the state legislature unanimously passed sports wagering legislation for New Jersey with the governor's signature cementing the racetrack's opening later this week.